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Old 03-08-2011, 06:05 PM   #11
Nateo
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One thing to keep in mind, the spreadsheet doesn't allow negative RA values, as you would get with acid additions, so the lowest my pH will go according to the spreadsheet is 5.6.

I didn't notice this, and added a bit more lactic acid than I really needed. It was for a Wit, so a bit of lactic will taste good.

The negative RA thing is a known issue.

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Old 03-09-2011, 12:19 PM   #12
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I'm probably not understanding it but when I made an ESB a week and a half ago I got something that seemed strange. I'm going from memory so some numbers/details might be a little off.

I wanted to mash 'almost no-sparge' so...lots of water. When I entered everything I got a red flag saying 'More mash water alkalinity is needed'. The Net Mash Acidity was around 50 and the predicted mash pH was 5.5. If I entered a more reasonable mash volume it showed a lower NMA and lower predicted mash pH and no red flag. That seemed strange that the result that had the higher predicted mash pH red-flagged me to add more mash alkalinity (which would raise it even higher).

I tried to recreate what I did in the spreadsheet back when I made the beer but I can't get it exactly the way I had it (the red flag doesn't come up). I think I have it saved on another computer. Also, apparently my water report is not balanced, I'm getting like 1.18 Cation/Anion ratio.

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Old 03-14-2011, 12:30 AM   #13
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Version 1.5 of Bru'n Water has been uploaded and is ready for downloading.

Enhancements include:


Revised Mash pH algorithm
Mash and Sparge Additions Totals
Sparging Water Recommendations
User Customizable Water Profile fields
Advice for Water Report Troubleshooting
Water Report Units Convertor
More Notes throughout
Enhanced Instructions
Additional Water Knowledge


Enjoy

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Old 03-18-2011, 12:59 AM   #14
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Great spreadsheet Martin!

Thanks for all the hard work. Would you happen to know if there is a limit to the amount of calcium hydroxide you can use to treat water? After searching around I've found out it's used in some drinking water to adjust pH, and harmless in small amounts. Also found out it can be dangerous to ingest undiluted, although I hope no one plans on doing that. I've found its easier to use just Ca(OH)2 to raise my alkalinity for darker beers usually. Any issue if lets say an RIS water profile has me using nearly 1/2 gm per gallon?

Thank you

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Old 03-18-2011, 01:40 AM   #15
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Calcium hydroxide is routinely used to soften drinking water by increasing the water pH above 10 which reduces the solubility of calcium carbonate and it precipitates from solution. If the pH is increased further to above 11, the solubility of magnesium carbonate is reduced and it also precipitates. So, calcium hydroxide is safe excepting for its caustic action. The softened water then has to be neutralized to under 9 pH to make it suitable for consumption. The amounts added for mash water alkalinity adjustment are far less than required for the softening duty.

The amount you need to balance your grist's acidity is based on the amount of alkalinity that already exists in your water and the total acidity contributed by the grist. Using 1/2 g per gallon should not pose a problem, but that is a substantial amount by my estimation. I'm assuming the starting water has low alkalinity. If Bru'n Water indicates that is the amount your mash needs, its usually pretty close to right.

Remember, alkalinity increasing minerals like calcium hydroxide (pickling lime), baking soda, or chalk are not to be added to the sparge water. Low alkalinity is always desirable in sparge water.

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Old 03-18-2011, 10:05 PM   #16
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Yes. I start with a base of RO water, estimating around 13 residual alkalinity by your calculations. Also, the stout is 49 SRM, so pretty dark. I could use baking soda, as I did in the past along with the lime, but the numbers worked better just using lime. It was only enough to adjust the pH by .2, so if that's ok I'll move on as planned.

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Old 03-21-2011, 08:57 PM   #17
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I just pulled this down today and put in the numbers as best as I could from my city's 2010 metro water report (magnesium was absent so I used the bicarbonate estimator and increased Mg until the ions were balanced).

As a complete noob to water chemistry (I have been a 5.2 user since starting All-Grain), I found this extremely helpful to understand the kinds of adjustments I need to make. I plugged in a couple recipes, adjusted the salts until they all turned green, and I come within 1-2 pH of the optimum range every time.

I have one question though. Two of the salts on there, pickling lime and magnesium chloride, I was only able to make some recipes balance without a distilled water dilution by adding these. Problem is my LHBS, Brewmaster's Warehouse, and Austin Homebrew Supply do not carry these two salts (in fact, my LHBS doesn't even carry Epsom Salt either). Does anyone know if there's an online resource where I could get them?

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Old 03-25-2011, 01:01 AM   #18
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Version 1.6 has been uploaded which includes a correction to an error that prevented users from entering their own custom water profiles. The mash pH algorithm has also been improved.

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Old 03-25-2011, 04:20 PM   #19
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OK, I screwed the pooch with v. 1.6. The sparge water check box was protected and the pH equation did not match up with version 1.5 which was known to be a good predictor in the normal mashing pH range. Its fixed too. Version 1.7 is uploaded. Sorry for the run-around!

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Old 03-27-2011, 12:53 PM   #20
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Thanks for version 1.7!

I just noticed the mention of Rahr base malts potentially being pre-acidified. I am now wondering which homebrew stores use this malt as their base malts in AG kits. I have had several AG kits turn out well and when trying to replicate them with my own bulk ingredients, they did not turn out as well. I have water high in alkalinity and this was before I attempted any water modifications of my own.

Does anyone have further info on this pre-acidified base malt?

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